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Google's (GOOGL) Russian branch to file bankruptcy following bank account seizure

Free services like search and YouTube will remain open, but recent seizure of the company's Russian bank account made business unsustainable in the country.

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Google is facing a near complete shutdown in Russia this week after authorities in the country have seized its Russian subsidiary’s bank account. Although the company will reportedly keep free services such as search and YouTube available in the country, Google has reported that its Russian subsidiary will file for bankruptcy due to an inability to keep its office open and pay its employees.

The move by Google’s Russian branch to file for bankruptcy was recently announced by the company, as reported by Reuters. Reportedly, the filing comes as Google has faced pressure in the country for refusing to delete content that Moscow deemed illegal, as well as banning a Russian government-backed YouTube channel. The latter saw Russian authorities seize around $1 billion roubles (around $12 million USD) in fines from Google, but no action to outright shut Google down was taken at the time. That said, authorities more recently seized access to the Russian branch’s bank account, making further operations impossible.

Google's Russian offices are likely to close as the subsidiary within the country files for bankruptcy following account seizures by the government.
Google's Russian offices are likely to close as the subsidiary within the country files for bankruptcy following account seizures by the government.

A Google spokesperson shared an official statement on the situation of its offices in Russia on Wednesday.

“The Russian authorities seizure of Google Russia's bank account has made it untenable for our Russia office to function, including employing and paying Russia-based employees, paying suppliers and vendors, and meeting other financial obligations,” Google said in its statement. “Google Russia has published a notice of its intention to file for bankruptcy.”

Russia has faced a number of closing businesses within the country as it continues a highly controversial war on Ukraine. The big three game companies, Microsoft (Xbox), Sony (PlayStation), and Nintendo have all suspended sales in the country, just to name a few.

Nonetheless, it looks like Google is on the losing side of this particular action. With no end of the conflict immediately in sight, it remains to be seen if Google returns to normal business within the nation at all in the near future.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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